Krishna.com Spring Fundraising Drive: Krishna.com is a non-profit organization that depends on your donations to operate. It takes (only) $6,500 each month to run Krishna.com's web department, with a dedicated staff of 5 people and dozens of volunteers, reaching more than 7 million households in 194 countries. Please join our family of supporters and give a donation to support this important project.

We are not fallen

0

"So our contact with matter is just like a dream. We are not fallen. Therefore, at any moment we can revive our Krishna consciousness. We become liberated as soon as we understand, "I have nothing to do with matter. I am simply Krishna's eternal servant." Sometimes when a fearful dream becomes intolerable, we break the dream. Similarly, we can break the material connection at any moment as soon as we wake up to Krishna consciousness. "Oh, Krishna is my eternal master. I am His servant." That's all. That is the way."

As I have said in other blogs, my writing is very personal, an extension of my heart and desire to be of help and service to devotees. Not that it is all pure giving to others, but it is also a need I have to express and be creative. So those two purposes intersect here.

I see this as a relationship I have with my readers. I am typing on my keyboard which becomes an extension of my inspiration, and then you sit in front of your computer screen and read it with your mind, and perhaps it gives rise to questions, disagreement, or it could touch you in some way. As Prabhupada described the milk of a cow as its' separated energy or his recorded lectures as his separated energy (to describe how the material world is Krishna separated energy), so the words you are reading are my energy transformed into words which convey my thoughts and feelings.

I am thinking much of the time about what I can share with you that will be both interesting and useful on your progressive march toward Krishna---or for brand now people that you might be inspired to further check out the path. Any spiritual or religious path is demonstrated by the people involved. Example is better than precept.
I am sitting here in my living room before the wood stove and our beautiful Deities. My goal is to write 3 or 4 blogs a week. Since we don't have many bloggers here I feel a responsibility to write. I am torn between writing more conversationally like I am now with more frequency, or taking the time to write more deeply philosophical pieces. I do both of course though I write philosophical blogs more often. It is a matter of what is more beneficial for you, which you will have to let me know.

I wrote a blog that my wife thought would be a good BTG article, so rather then post it here, I worked on it for days to bring it up to that standard. When one submits an article for BTG there is a whole committee that reviews the piece, so that has to be taken into consideration before writing. For blog writing it is far less polished and more spontaneous, and I don't get all the typos or grammatical errors though I do fix them eventually---most anyway.

I was up late reading last night so as a result my whole day is late. It is 11:30AM and I have a lot of things to do today. I am going to try out our new pressure washer to clean the sides of the house, and our son is coming over to finish the solar hot water system. It has a few problems so it has taken him longer then he originally thought. The unexpected is always to be expected!

You are important to me. There is no meaning of a writer without an audience. I told one of my friends that everyone needs to believe in themselves. Unfortunately this devotee has had a very difficult life and doesn't feel they have any value--they considered that to believe in their self would be a lie or fallacy since they were a very bad person and a failure in life.

To various degrees many people feel that way. Why? Because of the harsh messages they heard growing up from parents and peers, because of mistakes they have made, or that they haven't achieved a certain level of material or spiritual perfection. Then we come to K.C and we hear that we fell from the spiritual world and are envious of Krishna. This could only make us feel worse about ourself, as if we are damaged goods. That seems to be the Christian message of original sin.

So why should be believe in our self? There are many therapies to build self esteem, and techniques like using affirmations and developing positive self talk which can be useful for people including devotees if we combine them with a spiritual perspective of our original spiritual self. Our real value comes from the fact that we are part of Krishna who is supremely good. The bad perception we have of our self from our material experience is false---we are not our sad story, or failures or mistakes---at death they will all be finished, and we will be left with our pious or impious activities, or as a devotee with our degree of Krishna consciousness and love for Krishna.

As Prabhupada has said in a number of places, we are not really fallen--this is an illusion. Here are some fascinating quotes on this topic:
___________________________________________________
So when someone asks, "When did we come into contact with the material nature?" the answer is that we have not come into contact. By the influence of the external energy we think we are in contact. Actually we are not fallen. We cannot be fallen. We have simply created a situation in which we think we are fallen. Actually, Krsna has given us that situation. Because we wanted to imitate Him, Krsna has given us an opportunity: "All right, you want to imitate Me? You want to be an imitation king on the stage? So, feel like this. Play like this. Do like this. People will applaud -- 'Oh, what a very nice king.'"

So everyone in the material world is playing some part. "I want to be prime minister." "I want to be a very big business magnate." "I want to be a leader." "I want to be a philosopher." "I want to be a scientist." They are trying to play all these parts, and Krsna is giving the opportunity -- "All right."

But these things are all nonsense. Simply dreaming. When you dream, the next moment the dream is gone, and everything in the dream is finished. No more tiger, no more jungle. Similarly, as long as the body continues one may think, "I am a responsible leader; I am this; I am that," but as soon as the body is finished, these ideas are gone.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => TQE 2c: The Fall of the Soul

So our contact with matter is just like a dream. We are not fallen. Therefore, at any moment we can revive our Krsna consciousness. We become liberated as soon as we understand, "I have nothing to do with matter. I am simply Krsna's eternal servant." Sometimes when a fearful dream becomes intolerable, we break the dream. Similarly, we can break the material connection at any moment as soon as we wake up to Krsna consciousness. "Oh, Krsna is my eternal master. I am His servant." That's all. That is the way.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => TQE 2c: The Fall of the Soul

I might have been a very big physician, influential physician, having a good practice, but where is [that body now]? All gone. So this situation, our contact with matter, is just like dream. Actually we are not fallen. Therefore, because we are not fallen, at any moment we can revive our Krsna consciousness. As soon as we understand that, "I have nothing to do with. I am simply Krsna's servant. Eternal servant. That's all," immediately he becomes liberated. Exactly like that: as soon as you... Sometimes we do that. When the fearful dreaming becomes too much intolerable, we break the dream. We break the dream when it becomes intolerable. Similarly, we can break this material connection at any moment as soon as we come to the point of Krsna conscious. "Oh, Krsna is my eternal master. I am His servant." That's all. This is the way. Actually we are not fallen. There cannot be any fallen. The same example: Actually there is no tiger; it is dreaming. Similarly, our fallen condition is also dreaming. We are not fallen. We can simply give up that illusory condition at any moment. At any moment. So if you study all these verses very nicely, you get all this knowledge quickly.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.9.1 -- Tokyo, April 20, 1972

But the simple process is, as soon as you surrender, that you are not fallen, "It was illusion. I was dreaming. I am Krsna's," finished. All gone. "I am Krsna's. I am Krsna's eternal servant. These are all nonsense" -- he immediately becomes liberated. Just try to understand. Immediately, within a second. Liberation can be attained within a second, provided we abide by the order of Krsna. Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. This is the position. We are not fallen. We are thinking fallen. So we have to give up this nonsense thinking. Then we are liberated. There is no Is there any difficulty to understand? Just see how important this verse. It is already there, but you are not reading. Each verse, read every day carefully. Try to assimilate, understand, and you will get more profit, every day, hundred yards forward, hundred yards forward, yes. They are so important verses. How nicely composed by Vyasadeva. In two lines the whole thing is explained. This is called sastra. In two lines.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.9.1 -- Tokyo, April 20, 1972
___________________________________________________
So everyone has value by their spiritual constitution. Because we are identifying with our body and it's history we may not like our self very much. This self is not our real self or is it's birth, life and story and death etc. Of course this may sound good, yet we still are in material consciousness. That is why in addition to understanding our spiritual true value it is useful for devotees to also understand that their physical life has value in spite of whatever shortcomings and mistakes we have made.

Part of our growth as a devotee and a human being is to practice forgiveness---of others and ourself. We are imperfect and limited, yet with Krishna's help we can gain strength and rise above adversity. We have to determine what things are favorable for our growth and even our career, since most of us work in the world---even if we move into an ashrama we have to see what will be helpful for spiritually advancing in that situation.

From my experience in working with devotees and in my own life, having too low an opinion of our self due to our perceived material shortcomings is another type of attachment---I am a poor victim, and no one can help me, even God. Being down on our self often means we don't see or accept Krishna's help even when it is right in front of us. This type of mentality disqualifies our self in advance from receiving any offered help.
So it is not false to believe in our self. True we have to not think we are great, yet we are part of the Supreme Great. We have to ultimately identify with Krishna, not our false conditioned self and the drama of our life.

Spiritual life is a rebirth, so let us use our perception of the shortcomings of material life as a spring board for taking up spiritual life. Spiritual advancement is the solution to all our so-called problems. Actually there are no problems, only service opportunities. Initiation is a second birth, a spiritual birth. If we don't like our material story we can change it. Our life in the world can be used as our service to Krishna and the devotees.

I will end with Prabhupada's statement from the Bhagavatam [1.2.8.pp] about what spiritual life is:

"Because foolish people have no information of the soul and how it is beyond the purview of the body and mind, they are not satisfied in the performance of their occupational duties. The question of the satisfaction of the self is raised herein. The self is beyond the gross body and subtle mind. He is the potent active principle of the body and mind. Without knowing the need of the dormant soul, one cannot be happy simply with emolument of the body and mind. The body and the mind are but superfluous outer coverings of the spirit soul. The spirit soul's needs must be fulfilled. Simply by cleansing the cage of the bird, one does not satisfy the bird. One must actually know the needs of the bird himself."

"The need of the spirit soul is that he wants to get out of the limited sphere of material bondage and fulfill his desire for complete freedom. He wants to get out of the covered walls of the greater universe. He wants to see the free light and the spirit. That complete freedom is achieved when he meets the complete spirit, the Personality of Godhead. "

"There is a dormant affection for God within everyone; spiritual existence is manifested through the gross body and mind in the form of perverted affection for gross and subtle matter. Therefore we have to engage ourselves in occupational engagements that will evoke our divine consciousness. This is possible only by hearing and chanting the divine activities of the Supreme Lord, and any occupational activity which does not help one to achieve attachment for hearing and chanting the transcendental message of Godhead is said herein to be simply a waste of time. This is because other occupational duties (whatever ism they may belong to) cannot give liberation to the soul."

Combined comments from old site

Sun, 12/14/2008 - 17:49 — Snehal
Confused!!!

Hare Krishna!

I have been thinking about this blog since the day it has been posted here.But because of my inability to understand I fail to understand the real message of this blog.

Does this mean that because we are not fallen we are not hopeless and so we must serve Krishna enthusiatically to regain our original position?

Or does it say that beacause we are under the spell of illusionary energy, we must not feel miserable for the mistakes but yet strive for perfection?

I am confused. Kindly explain it further.

Haribol!

Snehal


*Reply*

Mon, 12/15/2008 - 09:46 — Karnamrita.das
Answers can be yes, no or both!

It is good you are thinking about the philosophy and trying to understand from different angles. That is good for your spiritual advancement. I would say the answer to both your questions are yes! They are not mutually exclusive. The basic point of this and in fact many of my blogs is that we have to be realistic about our spiritual and material position and act accordingly. For most of us our spiritual life is about balance, not artificial extremes in the name of spiritual advancement. We shouldn't be complacent either, but striving for perfection. We have to think long term. What can we really maintain considering the unavoidable ups and downs of life?

One confusion comes from the fact that there are different perspectives from the degree of one's spiritual vantage point. We read the standard of devotion of great devotees and are attracted to that. We many imitate it and find ourselves dissatisfied due to neglect of our material needs. Those can't be artificially given up just by our acceptance of the theory of Krishna consciousness.

One the one hand we want to feel helpless without the mercy of Krishna and the pure devotees, yet not hopeless that we can't receive that mercy. It is easy for many of us to feel our lowly position. The standard of the six Goswamis (principle disciples of Lord Chaitanya) could be intimidating. They hardly ate or slept, so shouldn't we? They were absorbed in tasting the nectar of Krishna lila (his activities) and FORGOT to eat and sleep.

We all act according to our taste. Most of us have taste for so many things, and although we can minimize material activities by a simple lifestyle we can't totally do away with material necessities. Although we are not our material body or mind, our realization is limited, plus we have to take help from them for service. We have to take care of them to remain fit, as with our our car. We are not our car, but if we don't take care of it, it will break down. Though we can stretch from our ordinary devotional practices at times to increase our service (say on a holy day), we have to realize that our advancement only comes through time and maturity. It is not overnight and we have to be patient though determined to stay the course.

We should sincerely regret out mistakes and shortcomings, but not dwell on them, or be so dysfunctional that we are paralyzed by guilt. Our focus should be on where we want to go, not on our past failures. Remember that failure is the pillar of success.

By the grace of Krishna and his devotees all things are possible!

Love for Krishna is our nature. It is not "created" out of nothing, as it already exists and just needs to be revived. That is the meaning that "we are not fallen", though we think we are and act like we are. Being fallen means trying to be an enjoyer of the material world, which is not possible, since we are spirit and can only be happy from spiritual things and our relationship with Krishna.

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita


*Reply*

Tue, 12/16/2008 - 21:30 — Snehal
Thank you

very much.

Snehal


*Reply*

Mon, 12/15/2008 - 11:53 — bhaktincarol
Hare Krsna! Could you

Hare Krsna!

Could you explain a little more?

That is the meaning that "we are not fallen", though we think we are and act like we are. Being fallen means trying to be an enjoyer of the material world, which is not possible, since we are spirit and can only be happy from spiritual things and our relationship with Krishna.

I understand that any idea of actual separation from Krishna is illusion (I thought Krishna was always with us, but we with our intentions were trying to go away from Krishna). Can you explain the relationship between the idea of always being with Krishna and our choice of serving ourselves. It's just a dream because we're not actually able to enjoy? We are desiring to enjoy separately, but it is only desire -- it cannot actually happen? But doesn't Krishna allow us small enjoyments that are not permanent? What about our choice, that our interest is in separating, trying to enjoy separately?

Being fallen means trying to be an enjoyer of the material world...

Isn't that why we're in the material world --because we're trying to enjoy?

And also, those are the MOST BEAUTIFUL deities!!
Thank you for posting the pictures!


*Reply*

Mon, 12/15/2008 - 12:17 — Karnamrita.das
Pure by constitution

We are spirit soul, part of Krishna. That is our true ontological eternal reality--das or dasi (servant or cooperator). Somehow we are in the material world and due to the influence of matter we are acting falsely as an enjoyer of matter, thinking we are the center or lord of all we survey. That is illusion, like a person dreaming of being a king or what have you. So we are thinking and acting like we are "fallen" so yes in a sense we are---the spirit in which we act is who we are---yet truly this is a false position as we are by nature, spirit or not fallen. So to make it more confusing, we are fallen by our thinking and acting, yet not fallen by nature--we remain 100 % pure soul.

The soul is covered like a fire in pot. Our true fiery nature is hidden.

A human being may act like an animal through the power of intoxication, yet that is not his or her real nature. When they sober up they are much different.

A person with amnesia is forgetful of who they really are. Although they may be married with a family, important job, etc., they don't remember any of it. So we are forgetful of our true spiritual nature and have been told by our parents and society who we are. This is like a dream, so the Vedas are meant to wake us up. We are not our sad history in this life, we are an effulgence spiritual being, eternal, full of knowledge, happiness and love.

It is good to hear the philosophy from different angles which challenges us to go deeper, beyond the superficial. I hope what I said makes sense to you and has answered your questions.

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita


Sun, 12/14/2008 - 09:12 — ekbhaktin8
Nectar, Certainly

But not just nectar as in , "here, take a coconut".

Nectar as in - here is the sweet cool coconut water , after peeling, cracking, scooping....

Thank You for this nectar - all that you write benefits many souls somewhere sometime. There is no doubt that Krshna is working thru' you.

Thank You for picking out those quotes (concentrates) out of the pool of Prabhupad Nectar,
and at other times the scriptural nectar.

Hare Krshna


*Reply*

Mon, 12/15/2008 - 10:20 — Karnamrita.das
Nectar

My name means servant of "eternal ear nectar". Karna=ear or hearing, and amrita= eternal and/or nectar, so if any comes through me it is only by mercy--the mercy of above, which I endeavor to bow down to. We don't think our spiritual names are given to disciples by accident. So I have been given the chance to serve devotees by sharing whatever nectar I many find. That is part of my writing---as imperfect as it may be. Lord Rama appreciated the help of a spider moving a few grains for the bridge to Lanka, so I know that Krishna appreciates our attempt at serving him--even a few drops of the unlimited ocean of the nectar of topics about Krishna and the philosophy which gives support to it.

Hare Krishna!

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita


Sat, 12/13/2008 - 21:46 — Namacarya das
nectar!

"I am torn between writing more conversationally like I am now with more frequency, or taking the time to write more deeply philosophical pieces. I do both of course though I write philosophical blogs more often. It is a matter of what is more beneficial for you, which you will have to let me know."

Everything you write is nectar!


*Reply*

Sun, 12/14/2008 - 04:06 — Karnamrita.das
All nectar comes from Krishna

By the mercy of our Gurus and Shri Chaitanya and Nitai we may be empowered in some small or large way. Since we are not the doer, we have to be "empowered" to even blink our eye or move our hand. We are never independent. Naturally I am happy that what I write might be useful to others---that is my intension and prayer. At the same time I have to remember who is the source of everything--strength, ability, intelligence etc-- and who is a tiny instrument that may be used. We need to graciously accept the appreciation of others--thank you prabhu--and see it as a gift from them, while always knowing that we are a servant of Krishna who is so kindly allowing something to come through us.

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita


Sat, 12/13/2008 - 19:00 — dru
When we think we're fallen, Krsna uses an instrument

Hare Krsna Prabhu,

Someway or the other, but its a sweet coincidence, that is not the correct word, but I would say it's a reciprocation by Krsna. I was so thinking about my mistakes and considering myself as fallen, not worthy of even forgiveness and such things. I had brought on miseries since yesterday to myself thinking such things. And, here our sweet Lord Krishna makes you write this blog!! I feel it so personal at times, it seems as Krishna personally told you to write this and pour light on me. The thoughts you've expressed I understand them very well. Thank you for sharing and subduing my heart. Please keep blessing all those who need it.

Hari Bol.


*Reply*

Sun, 12/14/2008 - 04:31 — Karnamrita.das
Krishna reciprocates

Because you are endeavoring to be on the path of Bhakti, Krishna is reciprocating with your sincerity. Krishna is inconceivably great and powerful and he accomplishes many things simultaneously. It is a great wonder and very inspiring. Though we are a tiny part of him he knows us and our needs and is helping us to come to him. We can all cultivate the attitude of gratitude that Krishna is so merciful to us.

I often pray to Krishna: "May your will be done--through me, within me, and around me"; "May my thoughts, feelings and actions be those of a pure devotee"; "May I have no separate self-interest"; "Let my will, dream, desires, intension, plans, and mission be one with yours" etc. Frankly I am a long way from these ideals, yet I do aspire for them as I see my conditioned selfishness and material desires. In spite of my limited advancement Krishna still allows me a service to do and devotees I can help. I am grateful that Krishna serves many purposes.

Many of us have a kind of multiple personality or schizophrenia where we have both very devotional and very materialistic parts. Some of these parts are not evident when we first take up the process of K.C. but become revealed in time through purification. Prabhupada compared chanting Hare Krishna to boiling ghee. As we boil the butter, milk solids or "impurities" rise to the surface which have to be taken out of what will become ghee---a prized cooking medium and fuel for fire sacrifices. So when we are seriously chanting we begin to see our materialistic nature and attachments or anarthas more clearly. Sometimes when this happens to a devotee they become confused. Either they repress or ignore them, or they begin to think that chanting Hare Krishna is making them a bad person since they weren't aware of their "dark side" before.

So I am in the shower of purification and shrubbing myself through chanting and other methods of service. At the same time I may through dirt on myself at times by engaging in materialist activities. This is compared in the 6th Canto of the Bhagavatam to the elephant that takes a nice bath in a river only to through dust all over it self.

We can pray intensely to Krishna that we may wake up from our dream of material propensities, and we can pray for others. So lets pray for each other to realize our highest devotional potential. Hare Krishna!

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita